Calsporin® is a robust sporeforming probiotic authorized in feed for the complete swine production chain. The viable spores of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 help to maintain an ideal balance of the microbiota in the digestive tract. The probiotic has proven to be effective on animal health and performance on a very low dosage. The intention of this article is to give an overview of the scientific and practical experiences with the use of Calsporin® in feed for grower and finisher pigs.
Sustainability and cost efficiency
The challenge for our industry is to secure the supply of high-quality animal protein to a continuously growing global population, whilst minimizing the effect on natural resources, by optimizing land use and production efficacy. By working on sustainability, the animal production sector guarantees production efficiency, product quality and animal welfare, hence minimizing the footprint of animal products and controlling the inherent pollution output. Calsporin® fits in the sustainability concept, as the product is able to increase the efficiency of animal production by improving the feed conversion ratio. Beside to improve feed efficiency, the probiotic is widely used preventively for animal health and wellbeing, as a kind of health insurance. Thereby Calsporin® fits also in other sustainable aspects, thinking about antibiotic reduction, improving animal health and welfare, and stimulation of organic farming, where Calsporin® is also allowed to be used.
Especially at a time of high raw material prices and increased use of multiple by-products in feed, it is worth investing in solutions able to improve feed efficiency. The low inclusion level of 15 ppm Calsporin® (corresponding with one hundred and fifty million viable Bacillus bacteria per kg of feed) in feed for fattening pigs makes the probiotic attractive. A return on investment for feed efficiency is quickly achieved due to the low cost price per 100 kg of feed.
Efficacy in fattening pigs
For the European authorisation as a feed additive, the efficacy of Calsporin® was evaluated in five trials in fattening pigs. The five trials covered four different European countries and were performed on locations with good pig health and low cull / mortality rates. In each study a different breed was used and both (castrated) males and females were included. In all trials, the pigs were divided in two groups and assigned to one of the two treatments: control or Calsporin® group. The diets fed to both groups were identical, apart from the supple-mentation of 15 g / tonne Calsporin® in the treatment group.
Four studies started in the growing period, directly after moving the pigs to the fattening barn, and pigs were followed till slaughter. Calsporin® was added in both the grower and finisher feeds. A total of 524 pigs were used in the four studies and the duration of the trials was between the 111 and 125 days. The data obtained were used for a meta-analysis, a statistical analysis that combines the results of the four scientific studies. Fattening pigs fed Calsporin® in their diets weighted significant more at the end of the study (+ 2,6 %), gained significantly more weight per day (+ 3,8 %) and performed better in terms of feed conversion (-3,6 %) compared to the pigs receiving the control diet (figure 1). No differences in average daily feed intake (ADFI) were noted between the two treatment groups. Results of the four study meta-analysis show that the addition of only 15 ppm Calsporin® to grower-finishing pig feeds, improves growth and feed efficiency.